Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Leadership (03/14/05)
TITLE: MODELED AND CAUGHT--NOT TAUGHT
By Roberta Kittrell
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Getting no response, the burly fisherman turned around just in time to see his younger brother disappearing beyond the nets outlining the perimeter of the fishing dock.
Shaking his head in puzzlement, Simeon, older son of Jonas the fisherman, continued with the task of gathering up the rest of their net so it, too, could be hung up to dry.
Hearing the ruckus coming from a nearby boat, he muttered to himself, “At it again! They’re making quite a habit of this quarreling. If they don’t quit, Zebedee will have trouble getting other fisherman to sign on as part of his crew….
“At least Andrew works well with me when we are at sea. He springs into action before you’ve finished giving him an order.”
Sighing and shaking his head, Simeon continued, “I don’t know what’s come over him of late. You never get any lip from him, but he disappears the moment we reach shore.”
“James and John, enough! Stop your fighting. We all have rest to do, before we set out to sea again tonight (pause).
“If you keep it up,” Simeon laughingly said, “you’ll wake up the fish. Then, when we go out tonight, they’ll all be trying to catch up on their sleep and won’t dance into our nets!”
With that, Simeon headed on to the modest home he shared with his wife Miriam, her mother, and Andrew.
As the women served him a hearty meal, he continued, “I don’t know what’s gotten into Andrew. He doesn’t even return to eat and sleep. Who or what has his attention?”
Looking at Miriam and winking his eye, he laughed. “Maybe he’s found his Miriam. Andrew wasn’t blessed as I was. Father wasn’t in a hurry to make a match for him; he was still so young. Father’s death surprised everyone. If only that boom hadn’t struck his head during that terrible storm. I’ve tried to carry on and be a father to Andrew.”
Yawning and stretching, Simeon walked over to his sleeping mat. As he started lowering himself down on the mat, Andrew burst into the room shouting, “Come and see. We’ve found Him! He’s the Messiah. Come and see for yourself.”
Andrew’s enthusiasm! Nothing I could do but follow him. I learned he’d become a follower of John the Baptizer. John had told him that he John was just the one to go before and prepare the way. This morning, Jesus, son of Joseph the Carpenter, walked past them. In great humility, John had pointed to Him and said, “It is He, the Messiah whose sandals I am not worthy to even remove. I must decrease and He must increase.”(pause)
It was so strange. Rarely did He raise His voice. Yet something about Him compelled us to follow Him. Yeah, I who’d always been the leader became a follower. Oh, yes, for a while, some still looked to me for some sign as to how they should respond. But, not for long. Maybe it was my foot-in-mouth disease. I tended to overreact, acted on impulse, spoke without thinking, and let loudness hide my ignorance.
Sometimes we knew Jesus was the Messiah. Then something would happen that caused us to doubt, or maybe for Him to doubt if He’d ever get through our thick heads. He lived, slept, ate, and drank with us for three years; modeling everything He taught. He tried to tell us several times—even on that horrible night--He had come to die.
He? Die? I told Him, “Not if I can keep it from happening!”
When I said that, He looked at me sadly saying, “Get behind me, Satan.”
After vehemently saying I would die for Him, I denied Him three times as He prophesized. I ran away in brokenness and hid. Oh, how He suffered! It was over!
At Sabbath-end, the others found me, and we went back to the upper room. The next day, we learned He had risen from the dead as He said He would! He spent time with many of us.
But my guilt! Defeated, I went back to my old trade. Some of the others followed me. He’d called us to be fishers of men. But, that was before.
He appeared another time, and we ate fish together. In Love, He forgave even me; He then commissioned me to assume leadership of us. He’d demonstrated leadership to me.
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